A Cold Slap in the Face? Yell Fire.

The latest Common Sense is about Wikileaks and the Iraq war. The only thing I have to say about that (other than what’s on the community forum) is this.

Michael Franti and Spearhead – Yell Fire!

War Protest Songs. Alice’s Restaurant comes immediately to mind.

Well, I did have this to say in the thread “We should have to watch the war

Yes, we should have to watch the war. Every single gory detail should be broadcast in living color. Specifically it should be the only thing people who support this war should be allowed to watch.

The last presidential election, in the public’s eye, was a referendum on the war (oversimplification, I know. Go out and talk to young people who voted for Obama, see what you find out) Obama’s election meant it was time for the war to end. It hasn’t.

For the record, I was never for the GWOT. None of the libertarians I know have ever been for it. As far back as Bush’s declaration of victory the war has been more unpopular as it has been popular. Bush lied his way into his war. That’s never sat well with anyone I know.Anyone who ever thought we could win a war against a tactic (kind of like winning a war against a naturally occurring substance) Is a fool.

I was against the war in Afghanistan but knew that it was pointless to resist the overwhelming support of that war. I (and many I know) spoke out against the Iraq war, but were shouted down. Those chickens have come home to roost now, and the most predictable response will be “Your either for us or agin us”; and that’s a sad statement about our government, in my opinion.

Let’s not kid ourselves here, contrasting Vietnam protests and protests about the Global War on Terror. The reason the Vietnam protests were so fervent was the same reason that Nixon changed the way the military was created. He ended the draft and by ending the draft ended the stakes the average Americans had in wars. Now, if you don’t happen to be from a poor family, you don’t have anyone that’s at risk of being shot in one of the many hot zones that America has troops stationed in.

I remember war coverage during Vietnam. It was visceral, and on the TV news every night. It was in your face, and if you were a teenager, you were going to be over there ‘in the shit’ when you turned 18. It was those two things together that got the protests started.

There was support for the war. Yeah, amongst the adults that weren’t going to be shot at. You didn’t find much of it anywhere else.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the draft was a violation of individual rights. If a war isn’t popular enough that the numbers needed to fight it don’t join voluntarily (and in the US they have, when it mattered. Didn’t stop the gov’t from drafting people even then) But it was the knowledge that you were going to be shot at, and soon, that got the young people out in the streets.

Sing a few bars of Alice’s Restaurant, and walk out.

If the rest of the world really has a problem with the bully on the block (the US) then they need to stop taking our dollars. Send them all back. Crash the system. That will put an end to the bullies ability to buy more and better weapons to shoot people with. Because the American people are too fat and happy to do it for themselves anymore.

But this, this was the most important bit.

If you support the war on terror, you are not a Libertarian (basically, if you’ve supported any modern war, you aren’t a libertarian. The party itself was founded out of the Antiwar movement) The War on Terror represents everything that is wrong with modern US leadership. From the War on Poverty (war on a social strata) to the War on Drugs (war on a naturally occurring substance) to the War on Terror (war on a tactic) they play on the fears of the average American and promise change, while in the end they simply make the problem worse.

This idea that you can declare war on something in order to end it has to stop. What ends when we engage in needless, ineffective, insane and endless wars is our freedom.

Neal Boortz, Glen Beck, et al. YOU ARE NOT LIBERTARIANS.

Who’s a Libertarian?

This is a post I circulated concerning the speaker at the 2004 Libertarian convention. This was the beginning of my dissatisfaction with sharing air with Anarchists.

The tempest in a teapot concerning Boortz speaking at the National Conference isn’t about Boortz; It isn’t even about war vs. antiwar. If you go back and read all of T.L. Knapp’s “Life of the Party” series, it becomes plainly clear that the issue goes much deeper than that. It’s why the Boot Boortz camp have the audacity to suggest that those in agreement with Boortz should …be shown the door.

The issue ladies and gentlemen is this: Is government necessary or not? Does the structure we call government serve a legitimate function in a truly libertarian society; or is each individual capable of governing themselves sufficiently to render government as we know it useless? Let me explain why this is what is being argued about.

Libertarians don’t agree on whether or not government should exist. On the one hand you have those who believe that government is not necessary, and they offer suggestions for its eventual replacement by voluntary structures. Generally those that offer these types of arguments are known as anarchists. On the other hand you have objectivists and others who believe that government serves a vital, albeit limited function, and it should be maintained in some minimal fashion so as to preserve liberty. The label that has been generally applied to these types is minarchist. Not everyone accepts the above labels, and the current LP membership includes views, like those of Constitutionalists, that don’t fit in either camp.

The anarchist/minarchist schism has existed within the party nearly since its inception. There have been various attempts to settle disputes between the factions, none of them very successful. The most successful was the Dallas Accord in which the libertarians of the time agreed that they would not discuss whether or not government was necessary, and focus on the more important issue of personal liberty. The agreement has worked until recently.

What’s changed? 9/11, that’s what has changed. The foreign policy blunders that the federal government has committed for the last hundred years have come home to roost with a vengeance. The ‘terrorists’ have declared war on us, and we are under threat. We are now faced with a situation that must be dealt with, and all of the effective options involve the use of government power. The problem is this: If you acknowledge that government has a reason to exist, then that reason will most likely include defensive measures designed to secure us from the aggressive actions of others. No matter how you slice it, 9/11 comes under “attacks against the territory of the United States”, and we have the obligation to make sure that any more threats of that type are dealt with, and the guilty parties that conspired to conduct the attacks are hunted down and exterminated.

To further extend the logic chain, one can extrapolate several strategic reasons for a large ground force in the area that the attackers called home (the Middle East) and the benefit of soundly defeating the ‘biggest bully on the block’. Whether you agree with the strategy or not, it makes sense from a military standpoint… If you acknowledge that government has a reason to exist.

However, if you don’t believe that government should exist, then any action of the government is damnable from the outset; and any action which benefits the government directly (such as a war) is the worst kind of evil imaginable, and therefore must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.

…and that ladies and gentlemen is why the disagreement over Boortz speaking has taken on a life of its own. He has had the audacity to apply logic to the situation and determine from his own perspective that the threat posed by the ‘terrorists’ is sufficient to require actions against other countries. …and to further determine that the largest most vocal segment of the antiwar movement are also anti-american. To add insult to injury he speaks his mind about his beliefs to an audience of thousands, and categorizes himself a libertarian. As others have pointed out, on every other issue other than the war, Boortz is solidly libertarian. But because of this one issue, his belief that government has a reason to exist, he can’t be a libertarian.

Now the anarchists are regretting ever letting non-anarchists into their club; and some of them would like to institute a purity test so that the membership can be limited to those who profess correct beliefs. To hell with them. This is the reason why everyone who has an interest in furthering the LP needs to go to the convention and actively participate in the sessions. The core of the party has been controlled by too few for too long. If we are going to succeed in changing the policies of the current government, we are going to have to include more people, and gain influence. You don’t do that by kicking out those you disagree with.

For my part, I wouldn’t mind if they asked Rush Limbaugh to speak at the convention. It might make for some interesting conversation. It doesn’t even offend me when Bill Maher calls himself a ‘libertarian’. He just makes himself look like a fool to those who know better. To take exception to Neal Boortz speaking at the convention is more than a waste of time; it is the equivalent of picking the scab off of a festering sore. It will only delay the time it takes for the underlying disagreements to recede into the background where they belong.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

Immigrants Mucking Up Our Country

Listening to Boortz today (Yeah, I know it was a repeat, so what?) He goes raging on about closing our borders so as to deflect terrorists and preserve “our way of life”. I like to listen to the guy, but a libertarian he is not.

The reason I’m bringing this up is that I’ve noticed a disturbingly repetitive mantra going around for the last few years concerning closing borders and (like the title says) keeping out those immigrants mucking up our country. From where I’m sitting, the immigrants that are mucking up the country are the descendents of the European immigrants (those pesky white people) who seem bound and determined to destroy liberty in the name of security.

I’d just like to point out that, unless you are a brown-skinned native (what the average white American thinks of as Mexican but are most likely people who aren’t from Mexico at all; merely true Native Americans, those pesky indians that white settlers have never been able to get rid of, or the native populations of America that the Spanish subjugated and abused for hundreds of years. Chicanos, Hispanics, whatever you want to call yourselves) then you are the descendant of an immigrant. You have no more right to be here than those being called illegal aliens today because they crossed some line drawn on a map by people who have never been to the area in question.

And closing the border is an impossibility. You can patrol it, and turn back the migrants, but truly closing it can’t be feasibly done. Nor do I think that it’s desirable in the long run to do the limited amount of patrolling that can be done. Why? Because migrant workers do most of the work in the South and Midwest, and not just because they work cheap. I don’t know any real immigrants (white guys. see above) who are willing to work out in the sun all day, every day for a living; but I can’t count the number of natives that I’ve worked with over the years who don’t even blink at doing so. If the border could be effectively closed, the resulting price spikes for construction and food production (not to mention manufacturing) would probably devastate the economy.

So what would work? Allowing in and documenting anybody who was willing to work (one of the only things the sitting president has said that I have ever agreed with) Ending 9/10’s of the welfare programs (including corporate welfare) that act as a lure, and a crutch, for people who aren’t willing to work. Ending the empire building and military meddling around the globe that the US is engaged in. Get back to the core of what this country was about to begin with (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and stop thinking that we have the right to demand whatever we want of the world.

And the Terrorists? Frankly, the only terrorists that we’ve seen on our own soil were trained by terrorists that we trained in Afghanistan. We seem to be our own worst enemy, or as people more poetical than me have said “We get the best enemies money can buy.” I think we should stop buying them.

I’m sure the mantra will go on. It’s a mindset that sells in this day and age; fear of others, fear of those outside. However, if you are going to go raging on about closed borders and true Americans, you are going to eventually look like an idiot, because the reality of the situation won’t be corrected by that type of rhetoric. But then I think that time has come and gone when it comes to Boortz. He is the Mighty Whitey, indeed.

To a nation built on immigration it should seem strange to have a president investing in keeping foreigners out, and considering fines on employers hiring immigrants

The Libertarian Immigration Conundrum by Per Bylund

I was doing so well, keeping the rabid spittle from showing in my text, right up to the point where I say the part about ending government welfare. If we are cutting checks to anyone, we should be cutting checks in dollar amounts for every person on the planet, just so they know that Uncle Sam is why they can buy stuff. What comes around, goes around. Better yet send them a smartphone with a US government sponsored account funded in dollars on a monthly basis. They’ll all want to get their governments to join the United States then.